Previously: Linda, her husband and tour group visit Israel and find Bethlehem a city of complexity and concern.

Fortunately, the wrecked cars along the road didn’t mean anything to our tour that day.

The new Palestinian guide took us to the Church of the Nativity. The church was quite elaborate -it’s impossible to describe and it had many beautiful icons.

Pilgrims were fairly thick and jostling to get into the space where Jesus is believed to have been born. While waiting to queue up for viewing, my husband’s step-mother leaned over and said, “One of the priests came up to me and told me to uncross my legs.”

My eyes opened wide. “What?” I just shook my head. The Orthodox priests who are custodians of this and other sites elsewhere in Jerusalem are wrapped too tight! Again, I returned to the fact that Israel is a complicated country!

When our turn came, we had a quick peek and touch of the place where the manger was supposed to have been. Then we were spirited off to a local Palestinian gift shop.

Linda Rosenthal (Jan. ‘19)“I bought several mementos at the gift shop from a young woman who barely hid her contempt for me.”

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